Founding Brothers Summary

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The author of Founding Brothers, Joseph Ellis argues many points throughout the assigned reading. He argued that the new nation surviving its infancy stage was “bleak in the extreme.”(Ellis, 8) The adolescent nation faced many challenges both home and abroad during the revolutionary generation as they attempted to fashion an independent viable republic such as the dinner which Thomas Jefferson held to decide the issues of the early nation’s deficit and the location of its new capitol, the long-standing silence over the slavery issue, the Farewell Address-centered in a single fact that Washington was leaving office, and John Adams and Thomas Jefferson first contested presidential election of 1796. They took many steps to confront these challenges …show more content…
George Washington retirement gave the citizens of 1790s a serious threat. He was described as “The Father of the Country” since 1776 which is to say, before there was even a country.”(Ellis, 120) Washington voluntarily stepping down from office shows and reaffirmed the nation’s unique position by refusing to act as monarch and that it suggests that every President was replaceable. However, in the Farewell Address, he thrusts for national unity and independence from Europe. Ellis highlights three main factors: first Washington reputation rested not on his ability to wield power, but on his ability to surrender it; second during war the number of victorious does not matter but the ground one maintained, same strategy use in his politics that in order to survive, the country needed time more than easy victory and success; third in order to sustain national unity, the United States needed to stay out of foreign affairs. (Ellis, 129-131) “Jay’s Treaty was a landmark in the shaping of American foreign policy.” (Ellis, 136) With this Treaty, England favoring English imports and guaranteed payment pre-revolutionary debts. His objective is to avoid war that the country can’t afford. Many people lack Washington’s foresight and saw the treaty an act of treason against the principles of the Revolution. Jefferson was …show more content…
“According to Ellis, They knew, trusted, even loved each other for reasons that required no explanation. The Adams-Jefferson tandem stood out as the greatest collaboration of them all. Choosing between them seemed like choosing between the head and the heart of the American Revolution.” (Ellis, 164) Adams and Jefferson formed their friendship while serving overseas during war they both chose patriotism and idealism over their own differences. However, their personal and political differences began while they are serving under Washington’s first cabinet. Adams won the Presidency by an electoral vote of 71-68 and has Jefferson as his Vice President. (Ellis, 178) After winning the presidency, Adams tries to patch things up with Jefferson and also the Republican Party. He also wanted to send Madison and Jefferson back to France to continue ensuring America’s neutrality between France and England which Jefferson declined the offer but waited a couple of weeks to let him know. Adams encountered problems during his term; first mistake was that he kept most of Washington’s cabinet member who are loyal to Hamilton, he is having difficulty getting the support the president needs. Second, when he signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, focus on foreign born residents that published scandalous or malicious material against the government. In regards to foreign affairs, Adams decisions in keeping the “XYZ

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